A Medieval Tunnel in Tiberias, Likely Used by a Crusader Princess Escaping Muslim Attack

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 23-foot-long tunnel carved from basalt underneath the historic part of the city of Tiberias on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They believe it was constructed by 12th-century European Christians. Yori Yalon writes:

“The tunnel we discovered may very likely have been a secret passage leading to the harbor of Tiberias, which we know about from Crusader historical sources,” said Joppe Gosker, who directs the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Gosker said the sources “describe the siege imposed by the Muslim ruler Saladin on the citadel in July 1187, in which Princess Eschiva, wife of the knight Raymond of Tripoli, was confined.”

“We know from the sources that Raymond directed his wife to escape to the harbor and board a ship where she would stay until he came to rescue her,” Gosker said. “It seems that the tunnel we revealed led from the citadel to the sea, and probably provided a safe route for a maritime escape in times of danger.” . . . The [fighting near] Tiberias led to the Battle of Hattin on July 4, 1187, in which Saladin’s army defeated the Crusader kingdom.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Archaeology, Crusades, Galilee, History & Ideas

The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy